With sport specialization–or lack thereof–becoming such a hot topic these days, triathlon might be the perfect answer.
1. It gets them active.1 of 11
The most important, and probably simplest reason your kid should try triathlon is that it will get them active. And if they already know how to swim and ride a bike, putting it all together is the next step.
2. It keeps them from getting bored.2 of 11
With three sports in one, training for a triathlon never gets boring. If your kid doesn't feel like running one day, they can easily practice swimming or biking instead. With different things to work on every day, it's nearly impossible to fall into the monotonous rhythm some other sports can have. Triathlon is a sport that constantly challenges the participant, and there's always a new goal to set.
3. It exposes them to three sports in one.3 of 11
If your kid is still trying to figure out which sports they enjoy most, triathlon is the perfect introduction to not just one sport but three! When training for a tri, your kid will learn how to swim–in the pool or open water–ride a bike and run. If later on they decide one of those sports just isn't for them, there's always variations they can try, such as a duathlon (run, bike, run), aquathlon (swim, run) or aquabike (swim, bike).
4. It sidesteps specialization.4 of 11
Sport specialization is a hot topic these days, and some experts argue that focusing too much on one sport can cause overuse injuries, burnout or decrease overall athletic ability, according to the SportsBusiness Journal. Triathlon prevents these problems as it allows athletes to participate in three sports at the same time.
5. They can do it (competitively) for the rest of their lives.5 of 11
In many sports, it's hard to continue to play or compete past a certain age. Sure, you can still do gymnastics as an adult, but it's much more difficult on your body. However, triathlon is a sport for all ages. Races are open to all, and it's not a rarity to see triathletes in their 70s and 80s crossing the finish line.
6. It will help grow their math skills.6 of 11
Triathlon is a very numbers-driven sport. As your kids dive deeper into the sport, they'll learn to calculate distance, heart rate, speed and split times–all in their head!
7. They'll learn how to get ready efficiently.7 of 11
Transitions from one leg to the next, which never take more than a minute or so, are an integral part of the sport. Being able to take off a wet suit, put on your shoes and helmet and rerack your bike is something every triathlete strives to make as efficient as possible. Being able to get ready in a flash will come in handy for the rest of their life!
8. They'll get to travel the country (or world).8 of 11
This really depends on the races you sign them up for, but with triathlons all over the world, a fun aspect of the sport is being able to turn a vacation into a racecation. Destination races not only provide a beautiful racing backdrop, but the athletes also get to experience the culture of a new place.
9. It will develop their perseverance.9 of 11
Triathlon is a sport of perseverance. Whether it's finishing the leg of a race, coming back from a flat tire or small spill on the bike to finally crossing the finish line, triathletes are known for never giving up.
10. They will be a part of an inclusive community.10 of 11
Triathletes are some of the nicest, most supportive, most inclusive athletes out there. Whether your kid is first across the line or the very last one, the fans along the finishing chute will be cheering for them just as hard–and sometimes the last finisher gets the most cheers! From welcoming a new triathlete with open arms to starting a training group to cheering for complete strangers along the course, it's unlikely they'll ever find a better support system than the triathlon community.